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4:08 p.m. - March 24, 2007
The Chicago Mix
Recently, Liz’s car stereo was put back in service. (Everybody say hoo-ray! Thanks!) And while Katie sometimes has HER choice of music, sometimes Liz needs some tuneage. Of course, who better to supply said tuneage than me?

Wait, don’t answer that.

So when we took a trip to the Windy City, I supplied the tunes. You want a taste, a sample, right? Well, here it is.

Of course, we didn’t get through all six CDs and I bet Liz hasn’t had a chance to listen to them all yet, either, so this will be a surprise for her as well.

Here we go:

1. Rockin’ Roll Baby – The Stylistics. Normally, you think of the Stylistics, you think of some lovely soul ballads that elevate you to heaven behind the falsetto of Russell Tompkins Jr., but this is an uptempo number that is kind of cool and soulful and rockin’ in its own way. The groove is right from Philly, too. This was a top 20 hit, but not one people remember except Stylistics zealots.

2. Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That – Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Oh, man. This just cooks. It’s hard to imagine anyone sitting still while they listen to this. Play this thing loud for your grumpy next door neighbors and see how soon their attitude changes!

3. Gay Bar – The Electric Six. Another one to crank up for your neighbors, but maybe this is one that makes them grumpy instead. Let’s start a war…start a nuclear war…

4. You Showed Me – The Turtles. Not only is this a fine, fine pop song (and one that oldies radio doesn’t play), but it set legal precedent. De La Soul used the opening of this track as a background for one of their tunes, and the Turtles sued and won. Now, everyone needs to get permission and give credit on samples thanks to them.

5. Straight Up – Paula Abdul. As I was heading to the recycle center today while this song was in my headphones, I became even more mystified on how Paula Abdul is judging the singing of other people. Listen to the melody of this song, and just tell me how many notes are in it? Anyone? Oh, and she’s a bit pitchy (and a LOT processed – it’s vocal Cheez Whiz).

6. Popsicles And Icicles – The Murmaids. Ah, girls who could actually SING. Their story is simple. They came, they recorded, they left. SOMEONE made money, I guess. The girls went off to college, but two of them stayed in the business.

7. Kodachrome – Paul Simon. You know, sometimes you take people for granted, and I guess I had taken Paul Simon for granted. Yeah, I bought some of his solo stuff but it was kind of buried on the iPod. When I was looking for songs to put on this mix, this one was there. You don’t forget a song like this, but you don’t remember how good it really was until you hear it again.

8. Let’s Dance On – The Monkees. Can everyone frug? Do the pony? Do the action? Well, get a partner and let’s dance on with Mickey and the boys (sounds like just Mickey and Peter on this one). (BTW, how do you do the twine?)

9. Careless Whisper – Wham! Guilty feet ain’t got no rhythm. True ‘dat.

10. Home In Your Heart – Solomon Burke. Ah, Solomon Burke. It’s rather a pity that many contemporary music fans know nothing of Mr. Burke except that one track on that one soundtrack album. You can really tell he was a former preacher, and everything he sings just oozes soul.

11. Kate – Sambassadeur. I’m going to keep mixing this one until everyone agrees that they’re the best Swedish band since Abba. Yes, it’s a direct challenge to Roxette and Ace of Base.

12. I Can’t Wait – Nu Shooz. Bands come, bands go. But the music lingers on, thanks to magnetic tape, and now digital recording. This is definitely a product of the time because within five seconds of the synthesizer riff you go “80s!” and start to…well…do whatever you did in the 80s.

13. Going In Circles – The Friends Of Distinction. They had some great hits in the late 60’s and early 70’s with “Grazing In The Grass” and “Love Or Let Me Be Lonely”, and I was surprised when I heard this track, as it’s very much a slow, soulful ballad, and it deserves to be out there on oldies stations.

14. North American Scum – LCD Soundsystem. You know, not everything that LCD Soundsystem does is tremendous, it just seems that way. Just try NOT to boogie to this one. Wait, do people still boogie?

15. Rough Gem – Islands. This group was suggested to me by Dom and he shows his normal good taste in picking this song out. At first, it’s hard to explain, but then that synth riff comes forward and well, you’re hooked.

16. Carry On Wayward Son – Kansas. You will always remember. Don’t you cry no more. And now this song is stuck in your head forever. My work here is done.

17. Show Me The Way – Peter Frampton. Of COURSE this is the live version? What other version is there? One sure fire way to annoy the wife is to keep imitating Peter Frampton using his talk box. This is NOT to be confused with “Baby I Love Your Way”, because this says, “I want you…to show me the way.” I know it’s confusing.

18. Run Thru – My Morning Jacket. I hope Liz likes this one. I wasn’t much of a MMJ fan until Designerchica basically boxed me upside the head (actually, she put a couple of groovy tunes on my birthday mix) and forced me to listen closely to them. I love the guitars and the way the song just goes here, and then goes there at the end.

19. These Arms Of Mine – Otis Redding. Otis! That’s all you need to say.

20. The Hustle – Van McCoy. Please note, it is not recommended to actually DO the hustle in the car on the Chicago Skyway.

21. Sugar On Sunday – The Clique. I think I’ve written about this recently, but if you are a sucker for any confectionary pop treat, then by all means seek out this one. By the way, one of the Clique’s b-sides was “Superman”, a song that most people know from R. E. M.

22. Judy’s Turn To Cry – Lesley Gore. You always hoped that Lesley would prevail after the party where she bawled her eyes out. And when this follow up came out, you knew, babe, you knew. After this, Lesley said to Johnny, “You don’t own me.” Later, Lesley got the house and the Brazilian house boy.

23. Goody Goody Gumdrops – 1910 Fruitgum Company. My heart is doing flip flops. Another perfect bubblegum treat from the band that brought you “Simon Says” and “Indian Giver”.

24. Am I Sexy? – The Lords Of Acid. One of my loyal readers spun this my way (I think it was Janet, and if it wasn’t, I’m sorry), anyway its another song to groove to big time. And also a good one to give to your wife IF you think the answer is in the affirmative. Otherwise, um, not good. Bad.

25. Lonely By Your Side – Azzido da Bass. One thing about iTunes (and dance music) is that singles are becoming in vogue again. I have a lot of tunes in my collection that are only on compilations because they just weren’t released on proper albums, and there was no reason for them to be, because singles were what people wanted. I can see that coming back now.

Well, there was just a sampling of the six recent CDs I made for our Chicago trip and soon will take residence in Liz’s car. Well, as soon as we get the Sesame Street CDs put away. If we can.


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